It’s in every one of us to be “liked”, to be “accepted” by people. We all want to have lots of friends and be well-thought of. Because I’ve never really been a popular person, I’ve often struggled with these feelings. I am shy and so have trouble getting to know people. As a result, I’ve never had many friends. I’ve always known in my head that Jesus is to be our best friend, and that He satisfies our every need. But I’ll admit, I used to long quite frequently for the kind of social life that it seemed all of my other friends and acquaintances enjoyed. I used to be disappointed that no matter how hard I would try, I was frequently the odd one out. Now, it really doesn’t matter; I’ve learned not to care about what people think of me.
Popularity has been a coveted status for young and old for as long as there have been people. The thought is that if you’re not popular, then basically, you’re not worth anyone’s time. You’re a loser or there is something wrong with you. According to the world, to be popular is to have worth. Popularity can actually be measured these days, too, by the number of friends you have on Facebook or the number of likes your photo receives on Instagram. A lot of these “friends” are not even people you know well or at all. You merely send out friend requests to any and everyone in order to boost your numbers, or else you follow people you don’t know on Disqus so that they will follow your blog and increase your number of views. Because, as we all know, the person with the highest numbers is worthy of your respect, admiration, and worship.
But by trying to be “popular”, who are we really striving to please? God or man? And is our worth really wrapped up in what others say about us? God says that we are “precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…” (Is. 43:4). And He also says that we should not “be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Rom. 12:2), implying that we should be in the world but not of the world.
So then, if we are Christians, what God says should matter more to us than what others say. These worldy endeavors should be the last thing we desire! We shouldn’t want to fit in; we should want to stand out as shining lights in this generation of darkness. As long as Christ “likes” us, that should be all that matters. We get so caught up in the here and now, that we forget about the big picture, of what really matters. Ten years from now, I probably won’t know most of the people I do now. So then, instead of trying to gain their approval, I should be shining Christ’s light into their lives and encouraging them to live for Him. Why bother trying to “impress” others? Impress Christ. Don’t live for man; live for Him. Our time on this earth is so short and so precious. Don’t waste it trying to be accepted by the world.